Friday, June 5, 2009


The 5th of the 5 C's of Leadership is Character & Integrity.

First and most importantly, this is a yes or no issue. You either are a person of character and act with integrity or not. Sometimes I hear people try to make this a question of degrees. Well, they usually act in an appropriate manner but not always. Stop. Can you trust them to do the right thing and can you believe what they tell you? Yes or No?

Now, let's get into more specifics. In our book we have a story, trust is like a bank account. In essence, you have to make deposits in the trust bank so there is something there when you go to make a withdrawal and say to someone "trust me" they will. You also need to have the courage to speak up when you see something you believe is wrong. A leader is not a coward.

Mike wrote a post about a leader being able to say three simple words. The three words are "I was wrong". If the leader is someone with character they will be able to say those three words. My father would use the expression that someone was a "stand up kind of guy". This was the highest compliment he could give anyone. By the way, in this context, the word guy is gender neutral, or so I choose to believe.

Given that there is truth to the concept of the shadow of the leader, I believe that the leader's character will eventually shape the culture of the organization. The culture within an organization is critical and must be maintained. It will erode over time if proper care is not taken and if leaders with different values are brought into the organization.

Finally, we have previously posted about laughter being serious business. We have also posted on authenticity and the need to be yourself. Leadership development is not about becoming someone else. It is about becoming the best version of you that you can become. Be yourself. Be honest. Be a person of integrity and strong character. Be someone others want to be around. Lighten up and enjoy it. Leadership is fun! You can make a difference. Make it a positive difference.

Until Next Time,


  1. Gail-this has been a great series.

  2. CB, glad you have enjoyed the 5 C's. It has become a staple in our leadership workshops.

    Cheers, Mike